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The Sloth Philosophy: Exploring the rise of #slowlife mentality and why we need to take a leaf off the tree like our slow pals.

A recap of ‘The Little Book of Sloth Philosophy’ by Jennifer McCartney and how it amplifies the growing need to take things a little slower.


So, without further ado, I introduce to you: the Sloth Philosophy (as beautifully portrayed by my cousin's cat many moons ago^).


I discovered this book in a charity bookshop in Guildford, Surrey and was intrigued from the get-go (it helps that there was an incredibly cute illustration of a snoozing sloth on the cover…yes I am basic – and also an artist so I love cute art). So, I got it and home with me it came. I let it be for a while before I finally gave it a read and over the course of a few months, I kept hearing the term ‘slowness’ pop up.


At 171 pages this book is a lovely read and not overly long or drawn out. It gets to the point fairly quickly (slightly ironic) but that being said, it is a read that is best savoured hence my decision to read it over several months. Slowness is key. It has humour and is sectioned off with amusing little quizzes designed to help you map out your ‘sloth personality’, songs suggestions, fun facts, humorous anecdotes, and of course, adorable illustrations of sloths! All the while giving us practical guidance on how to take life a little slower, softer, and more carefree. What could be better?


You will learn about which famous figures in history adopted this mindset, why it is actually perfectly acceptable to not have it all figured out at age 18 or 25 or even 47, how to practice the #slowlife and why it is beneficial to take breathers from the rat race we as a society have somehow programmed ourselves into.


I will stop there as I do not want to reveal too much but it is definitely worth perusing – on your own time! It served as a great introduction to the ideology of living life in the slow lane something that I am seeing more and more people adopting as an overall lifestyle.


“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

– Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off



One of my favourite ever movies – which is literally about skipping school with friends just for the pleasure of having a day off and enjoying living life – just so happens to contain an absolutely fantastic (and relevant) quote. But you see, Ferris had a point: life does zip on by at breakneck speeds and the only way to enjoy it, is to stop and slow down a little. Now I am not advocating for skipping school (all the time) but hey, one day ain’t gonna be the end of the world. Right? Well…guess it depends on your parents/guardians.


Getting back to the point at hand. There is a growing “market” for wanting to live on the slower side of life. It is softer, less overwhelming, more organic, more flowy, fairly stress-free…you see the appeal by now I’m sure. A simple scroll down the Instagram rabbit hole has shown me just how many people are rebelling against the system. Just by embracing a slower, less hectic lifestyle. After all, not all rebellions have to be Molotov cocktails, protests, or riots you know. Sometimes the best way to rebel is to just continue doing things your way (I shall add a caveat that this is acceptable so long as you are not causing harm to yourself or others).


Now, you may be thinking that to live a slow life means having to quit your job in the city, pack up and move to a little cottage by a riverbank in the middle of nowhere, raise chickens and other farm animals, go totally offline and even off-grid and on top of that be fully spiritual, meditate constantly, do yoga and breathwork and pick berries. Or whatever image you conjured up.


This however is only ONE version of slow living. It is NOT THE ONLY version of slow living.

So, what does ‘slow living’ entail?


Living according to your values and on your terms and doing so with intention and focus on your time and energy – how you want to spend it. It means that you live in the present as much as possible and seek out mindful moments when and where you can. Or whatever you want to do that helps you live your life with meaning. Seeking a path that allows sustainable, long-term growth and being conscious of the choices you make along the way (and understanding and accepting those choices). It is recognizing that you do not always have to be “on” 24/7, 365 (or 366 when it’s a Leap Year, like this one) – that switching “off” is totally acceptable and in actual fact, a big need in life. Find your balance. Prioritise health and wellbeing – you cannot accomplish anything if you’re injured, sick or worse; dead.


It is not about doing nothing all of the time. It is about doing nothing some of the time and not feeling guilty about doing nothing. Interestingly there is a paradox about that (which may just help any anxiety over the mindset of “but if I am not doing anything, I’m wasting my life”) and that is that by doing nothing, you are actually doing something…but that something just so happens to be nothing at all.


Yet it is still something. Something can be nothing.


Is your mind twisted or are we good to carry on? If you need a minute to wrap your head around that, please, take the minute. Take five. Slow life is acknowledging that there is in fact plenty of time to go around. So: Take. Your. Sweet. Sweet. Time.


Now, I have dragged that out enough so let’s get back to the current point. Taking time to rest and relax counts as doing something. You do not have to be on the go or have plans all of the time lest you wish to experience the dreaded fate known as ‘burnout’. Trust me, it sucks the big one. Productivity does not mean you have to work continuously with no breaks. All that ends up make you is sick, fatigued and in extreme cases, six feet under. In fact, it has been proven time after time that resting improves productivity levels by improving your efficiency levels. Because get this: it allows us to reset our minds and bodies. It restores them, giving them the ability to work at optimum levels.


Have you ever noticed that if you constantly keep your laptop running and never turn it off, that after a while it stops functioning well? Glitches occur, it moves super slow, systems crash, or certain functions stop working? But after turning it off or even just doing a reboot, it comes back to life and works just fine? Yeah well, humans are the same. So, if it helps you understand yourself better, then treat yourself like a piece of glitchy tech (except if you are ticked off and throw your phone across a room. Please don’t throw yourself across a room. Please. Thank you.), and know that if technology needs rest, so do you, you organic matter being you.


On a slightly related note, the old adage “A change is as good as a rest” does have merit, however, the slow life mentality encourages genuine rest as much as you can.


Harking back to technology, the slow life does not mean you have to rid yourself of your gadgets. What it encourages is developing a healthy relationship with them. Do not let it rule your life. Find times to spend offline, either by yourself or with others (both is preferred). Technology has its faults – as does everything – but it also can be an incredible tool. Respect it, respect yourself. One of the things I aim to do every Sunday is spend the day off my phone as much as possible. Obviously I am not always perfect with this as other factors have to be considered but I do that as much as I am able to.


As with pretty much all things in life, there is no “one size fits all” way of introducing slowness into your life. In my personal experience, I find that taking my time to wake up in the morning is a great way for me to incorporate slowness. I am not a fan of early, rushed mornings. It takes me time to get into the flow of things and I found that embracing this rather than rejecting it actually helps me get going faster…weirdly enough! I will admit that working for myself means I get to dictate my office hours and I do not have to commute anywhere for work. This obviously has allowed me the ability to have slow starts. But like I said, it is about finding what/when/where and how you can incorporate a slower pace into your life. Perhaps slow for you is taking soft, leisurely strolls when you walk your dogs, perhaps it is about practicing yoga, maybe you find slowness as you consume your meals or drinking wine at an outdoor restaurant on a sunny summer's day. It could even be finding a hobby that moves slowly; think pottery or reading or painting. It could be stopping to watch a pretty butterfly drink a flower's nectar.


Slow living encompasses a less densely packed daily schedule. It is about creating simplicity in your life so that you can make time to appreciate and enjoy what you have. Allow yourself to remove the busyness that we have been programmed to believe is normal. Learn to savour all those little moments because once they are gone, they are never coming back.


I know more and more people – myself included – who are finding ways to live life on the unhurried side. Many of them have said it is because it helps them become grounded and less anxious. They also find it benefits their nervous system by making space for it to release tension. And a calmer nervous system is a happy, healthy nervous system. Living slower grants us the time for both reflection and celebration – we learn to look back and analyze experiences, introspect/retrospect, then honour and admire our journey thus far.


Whatever slow living is to you, go live your #slothlife with joie de vivre!


How slow can you go?


I hope you enjoyed this read and seek to absorb aspects of the slow life from now on. If you are new here, then click here to find out more about what we do.


Enjoy the rest of your day!


Until next time,



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